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Why Am I So Tired? Fatigue During Early Pregnancy: First Trimester Symptom of Being Pregnant

Updated on September 14, 2012
Photo: Ingorrr,Flickr
Photo: Ingorrr,Flickr

Other Signs You May Be Pregnant:

 

Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman, but there are many common symptoms of pregnancy. These can include morning sickness, missed period, breast tenderness, bloating, headache, and much more. To learn more about the common early signs of pregnancy read Am I Pregnant? Early Signs of Pregnancy. There are also more unusual pregnancy symptoms you might want to become familiar with. This article deals with fatigue, a common problem for many pregnant women.

Why Am I So Tired?

During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women feel exhausted. Whether they are at home with younger children or working outside the home, pregnant women everywhere have expressed the feeling of torture at having to get out of bed in the morning and then dragging all day long. At the end of a long day, rest never felt so good.

The bad news is this is normal at the beginning of pregnancy and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Think of all your body is accomplishing right now. You're making another person! This is the biggest job your body will ever carry out. Although it is designed for this purpose, and it knows exactly what to do, it still takes a lot of energy. Here you've been going through your life using all your energy on other things and suddenly all your body's systems are taxed in a new way. No wonder you're sleepy.

If you've sworn off coffee for the duration of gestation, you're going to feel an initial effect from this. Make sure to get enough water consistently throughout the day.

Yes, It Will End

By the end of the first trimester, most women experience an increase in energy. (Enjoy this brief respite, because the joyous days of the third trimester are up ahead!) You should start to feel a little like yourself again sometime around the 12th week of pregnancy. But you'll still need more sleep for the entire term, think in terms of getting as much sleep every night as you can. Additionally, during the day you need rest. Try to fit in 5 or 10 minute ‘power naps' throughout the day. You can do this in the bathroom if you have to.

Another way to keep your energy level up is to eat small meals frequently. It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise will actually help you feel more energetic. Although it uses energy, exercise also decreases stress and helps you sleep better at night, both of which will reduce fatigue.

When Fatigue Indicates Something Serious

In most cases, mild to moderate fatigue is perfectly normal and will dissipate by the end of the first trimester. However, in some cases that tired feeling can signal something more. Talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you feel sudden fatigue, or a weakness severe enough that you don't feel refreshed even after adequate rest. Depression and excessive worry is another reason to visit the doctor.

Fatigue may indicate anemia, especially if you are also experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pale skin

Disclaimer: I'm no doctor, just a mom who has been there and done that. This article cannot substitute professional advice from your physician. Please consult your doctor before using any advice listed in this article.

Want online resources? Check out Notes for Your Underbelly, a roundup of online tools to help manage pregnancy.

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  • profile image

    IvyGeorge 5 years ago

    Im jst 5wks gone.im 27Yrs and this is my first.life has never been this fustrating.i wake up feeling weak,salivating like a snail,feeling nausea and barely keeping any food down.could barely do any home chores.im reli not finding this funny!

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    Beth 6 years ago

    This is my first pregnancy and i got online to do some research. I have been so exhausted that i don't want to move at all. I hope that it lets up at least a bit in my second trimester because it is extremely difficult to accomplish anything when i am this tired. I wish there were foods i could eat more of to energize my lazy self. #needs relief

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    neeru 6 years ago

    hello all tired mums i m one of u.i m 12 weeks pregnant and just want to sleep whenever i get chance to sleep during day.don't feel like to do even housework

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    Amanda 6 years ago

    Hello I had the nausea as well. I ended up having to go to my dr to get some medication for it. I felt like I was on a boat all the time. He said it should go away at 12 to 14 weeks. Let's hope. Good luck!

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    chiquita 6 years ago

    hello ladies, this is my fourth baby i am 8 weeks. i feel tired but the worst part is that i feel nausiated all day! this never happened to me on any of my other pregnancies :( when will this go away?

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    Amanda 6 years ago

    I am 8 weeks pregnant. I have a 2 and a half year old and I work about 30 hours a week out of the house. My husband just got deployed for 6 months. All I want to do is sleep. I feel like I am not giving my daughter all the attention she needs. I can't remember being this tired with my first pregnancy. Will this go away soon?

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    tired 6 years ago

    I am so tired. I hate it. All i want to do is lay down. It is a miserable feeling. Cant wait for it to be over.

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    Be 6 years ago

    I am 6 weeks and I am very tired I feel just feel very exhausted my lower back hurts and I have RA so my joints are a little painful. I stopped taking my meds for my RA so I don't harm the baby. I think there should be a class that men have to go to if they have a baby on the way to show what us women go through when we are pregnant. This is my first and Im 28 and wow I just think this is a lot and us women do make it look easy to the men that's why they act like that. Im sure if the men were the ones to go through this they would be wining and crying all day oh and don't forget the moaning you know how they get when they get sick lol. :) I just want a healthy first baby good luck and keep strong :)

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    Tina 6 years ago

    I have a 22 month old and I work about 30 hours a week. I have been trying to give my son a sibling but its been a struggle however I ended my period 2 weeks ago and for the last 3 days I can't seem to function at all I'm so tired. All I wanna do is sleep is it possible to have the fatigue related to pregnancy that early or do I wanna be pregnant so bad its the only reason for fatigue that I can think of?

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    mom of 2 boys 6 years ago

    i'm also 7 weeks and exhausted all the time. My hubby is pretty good but I Know he's thinking "what does she do all day??" Luckily he doesn't say it. I feel uselessssss I have a 3 yr old and a 1 year old little menace -explorer. trying to nap when the kids nap but its hard when the house is in such disarray...can't wait for the second trimester energy boost!! Keep strong ladies :)

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    felicia 6 years ago

    I'm 7 weeks and this is my 3rd I have a 5 year old and a 4 year and I just feel so tired know matter how much I sleep I wake up even more tired then I did this is my boyfriend first baby I just don't think he understand what I go through. He wants the house spotless all the time and no matter how hard I try he does not see it. its just I'm so tired. Maybe I need iron pills I know I did with my first two babies. But my ex husband didn't understand very much to. I'm 23 I should not feel so sleepy should I?

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    Sarah  6 years ago

    I am only 5 weeks along. My firstborn is 4. I was working a physically demanding job when I got pregnant with him so I do remember coming home from work (with my husband standing at the door expecting dinner) and being able to do nothing but collapse on the bed.

    This pregnancy so far I have been tired but not like I was the first time. I don't know if its because as a stay at home mom I can put Spongebob on the tube and lay down for a quick catnap. Of course I'm still really early so I am waiting for more symptoms. Every pregnancy is different they say. With my son I never peed a lot during the first trimester. This pregnancy I am already running to the bathroom every hour!

    Good luck to all the moms out there!

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    Canadian Mom 6 years ago

    So glad I am not the only one who is sooo tired! Im 8 weeks along and it's my second pregnancy. I still feel ashamed even tho i know I'm creating another life. My husband is fairly supportive, i know it still bugs him tho that the housework is being left behind. I cannot get up for the life of me, im just trying to do little things at a time. I say keep trucking the best you can, our bodies act this way for a reason. So best of luck to all you tired mommies!

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    need2exite 6 years ago

    This is my fourth pregnancy and It seems like with each one I get more tired. I also want to do nothing but sleep all day long. I have a 15, 12 and 4 year old at home. I can hope that energy boost comes during my second trimester. My other half also does not understand how I can be tired all day long.

  • Sun-Girl profile image

    Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

    Wonderful article but i feel you are not the only one that gets tired in early pregnancy,i think is a common thing.Well written and shared.

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    Emma 6 years ago

    I have been sick for the last few weeks and been having cramps in my stomach I can't take a test till next week and am always tired now. Also the bottom of my back is really sore at times is there any chance I could be pregnant?

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    amanda 6 years ago

    This is my second pregnancy. My first pregnancy was 11 years ago so I don't remember everything about it. However, this pregnancy is by far more difficult and I'm only 8 1/2 weeks along.

    I am so tired all the time, I get nausea when I'm hungry and I'm not sure what my body can handle. It is very rough. Not to mention that I believe I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome so eating foods that don't make me run to the bathroom is tough.

    I also get dizzy sometimes when I wake up in the morning. This makes it extremely difficult to get out of bed. If anyone has any advice, I would definitely appreciate it.

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    baby girl 6 years ago

    Hey i am not very far along and i have no energy wat so ever all i want to do is sleep and i get weak n can barelly hold my eyes open i have a 1year old boy and he gets into ne thing n everything but neways i want to know y i get so tierd and weak for..can someone plz tell me y i am feeling this way

  • profile image

    Bimbilly 6 years ago

    Whao i feel so relieved!

  • tectonic profile image

    tectonic 6 years ago from Singapore

    Fruitful hubpage that you have presented.

    Well done

  • profile image

    Kirst 6 years ago

    Tel ur husband to maybe have a read on what us pregnant women go through!! How insensitive!! I feel really bad on you that he comparing you to other women when everyone is different.

    Tel him he should maybe stop waisting his energy finding out what other women are doing and help around with his own partner that needs support.

    I don't know what I would do without my other half! My second pregnancy is a lot harder than my first for some reason and need rest all day everyday.

    But with a one year old a business to run and working 3 days a week it's getting way to hard.

    Get him to read this and he might realise how hard on you he is being. You really need him at this time!! Hope it all works out x

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    carina 6 years ago

    Lucia, i have a 4 yr old and a 13 month old.... ONE WORD OF ADVICE regarding the one yr old ( " CORRALL HIM") Ihave a huge area of my carpeted room that he can roam without worry of the putting everything in his mouth, don't you hate that, they find a fuzzball to choke on i swear. Ia m 46 and 8 weeks preg and if I had to chase him id die. My 4 yr old helps but still leeaves small stuff around so the best thing is baby gates yard system times two makes a huge area that you can control without getting up and down. as for hubby he is wrong, each preg is different and this one just wipes me out I can lay down all day if you let me and it still wont be enough. He needs to be more undersanting. GOOD news in a few weeks you will be moving all the furniture and nexting LOL. REST!!! and keep that one yr old safe, pack n play JOOVY has a huge play opin and again gates...

    best of luck it gets better I have 5 and im old LOL

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    Lucia 6 years ago

    OMG. I'm 10 weeks pregnant and always tired, and my husband doesn't understand. He says "All you want to do is lay down all day". I have a one year old baby boy.I spend the day chasing him around because he puts everything in his mouth, and he is my lil Christopher Columbus exploring all, and everything around him. Is my husband right? He says I know you are pregnant, but there are other women like me, and they do a lot more than I do. I am so upset, and I feel he is not supportive, or considerate. Any suggestions?

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    Karen 6 years ago

    I get tired just when I have my monthly period, so I can't imagine what it's like when you're pregnant!

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    pregnancy timeline 7 years ago

    Yes it is hard being pregnant. You do get tired a lot and it is something that will pass further along the pregnancy timeline.

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    always tired 7 years ago

    Fatigue is a massive problem in pregnancy. It usually lasts until about week 14 but then improves. When you get to the third trimester then it happens again.

  • Scotty Doc profile image

    Scotty Doc 7 years ago

    Thanks for this hub Lela - I like the way you've covered all the information. The overwhelming fatigue that some women feel in early pregnancy can be quite demoralising and what you've written goes a long way to defusing that.

    I blog about fatigue in general over at http://www.just2tired.com - and if it's OK with you I'll create a link back to this page the next time I submit a post.

    Thanks again

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    kelsey 7 years ago

    i have been looking at all the signs of pregnancy and i have a lot of them like night sweats off and on fever... some cramping. slight headake. weakness i do go to the bathroom a lot more then i used to... But the thing is, is i cant take a test for another 10 to 12 days... could i just be just be fooling myself into thinking im pregnant?

  • profile image

    8 years ago

    hi there

    i think im about 5 wks and im getting back pain and brownish dicharge and really sleepy, but no sickness, but i had to have a scan on friday as i kept on getting really bad pains on my left side - however in that scan nothing was seen except the gest sac, can any please help me on there thoughts?